Attila (1954 film)

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Attila
Attila (1954 film).jpg
Directed by Pietro Francisci
Produced by Dino De Laurentiis
Written by Ennio De Concini
Richard C. Sarafian
Primo Zeglio
Starring Anthony Quinn
Sophia Loren
Music by Enzo Masetti
Cinematography Aldo Tonti
Edited by Leo Catozzo
Distributed by Embassy (US)
Release dates
  • 1954 (1954)
Running time 118 minutes
Country Italy, France
Language Italian
Box office $2 million (US)[1]

Attila (Italian: Attila, il flagello di Dio; French: Attila fléau de Dieu) is a 1954 Franco-Italian film co-production, directed by Pietro Francisci and produced by Dino De Laurentiis. Based on the life of Attila the Hun, it stars Anthony Quinn as Attila and Sophia Loren as Honoria, with Henri Vidal, Irene Papas, Ettore Manni and Christian Marquand. Scott Marlowe (1932–2001) made his screen debut in this film. It was an enormous box-office success, earning $2 million in the first ten days of its release. Along with The Pride and the Passion and Houseboat it was Loren's biggest success in the 1950s.

Plot[edit]

The story is set in 450 A.D. The Huns, a horde of barbarians from the distant plains of Asia, move toward the rich western lands of Germania, led by a savage chief, Attila.

Flavio Ezio, a Roman general, is the only person who knows Attila was in a continuation of legation with the Huns for years.[clarification needed] Ezio and his companion Prisco carry a message from the Roman emperor Valentiniano III to the Hun's king Rua. After reaching their palace, Ezio learns that the king died, and that two brothers Bleda and Attila are now ruling the Hun kingdom. Bleda favours peace and tolerance, but Attila is at odds with him, and a tension develops. Yet Ezio knows to make an alliance between the Western Roman Empire and the Huns.

Ezio returns to the Imperial court at Ravenna, where the childish emperor Valentiniano III is busy with Roman party's in his palace and enjoying himself, while ignoring the fact that the Empire is beginning to fall apart. Because of this, his mother Galla Placidia is ruling the Empire. Onoria, daughter of Galla Placidia and sister of Valentiniano hopes to get rid of them, but needs help to do so. She asks Ezio to join her in a coup d'état, but he has vowed an oath to serve the Empire and refuses, even if he's arrested and striped off his military rank by Valantiniano and Galla Placidia due to his alliance to the Huns.

The two brothers battle, Attila wins by ordering his bodyguard to fire arrows at Bleda and his bodyguard during the hunt, and declares himself the sole leader of the Huns, riling them to support his aspirations of conquering the Roman Empire.

Ezio returns to Ravenna where emperor Valantiniano is distracted by an attempt to poison him. His mother Galla Placidia realizes that the Empire is on the edge of destruction and gives Ezio full military power. Onoria desides to leave the Imperial court and join the Huns. Ezio desides to stop Attila's horde at a river near Italy. The battle starts with a number of Hunnic cavalrymen killed, but when Ezio is in persuit of the Huns the main cavalry attacks him. His main foot army comes to help, but Ezio is shot in his neck by a Hunnic archer. The entire Roman army loses it's morale to fight on and flee, killing Onoria on the way back. On the eve of victory, Attila takes his son Bleda, (who was named after Atilla's brother) to the battlefield to witness their helpless situation. Ezio, badly injured, fires an arrow at Attila, but misses, and hits Bleda, killing him. This traumatizes Attila. Ezio regrets his failed shot, and dies seconds later. Finally on their way to Rome, they will face a sacred procession of priests, lead by Papa Leone I. Attila is about to kill the Leone, but he says to him calmly, "You can kill everybody...old people, women, children. But remember, Attila, innocent blood won't be washed away. It will come back to you." Attila turns back towards the Alps, leaving Rome untouched.

Cast[edit]

Release[edit]

Joseph E. Levine bought the US rights to the film for $100,000 and spent $590,000 on newspaper advertising and $350,000 on radio and TV. It paid off and the film earned over $2 million.[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Scheuer, P. K. (1959, Jul 27). Meet joe levine, super(sales)man! Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File). Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/167430798?accountid=13902

External links[edit]